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Is there sufficient user-generated and company information available on the lowly AR-4x to place in the Archives? Although this was not AR's most prestigeous product, it was its biggest seller. Don't know how many in total, but over a third of a million were sold between intro and end of 1970. I believe my final crossover diagram to be correct. Is there other information? History? photos? specifications? etc?


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The AR-4x could hardly be considered "lowly," and any good, accurate historical information on that speaker would be welcomed by all the Forum’s members, I’m sure.

The 4x created a sensation in the marketplace akin to the impact that the AR-3 had had several years earlier. It was the first so-called compact speaker that could truly reproduce the majority of the audible musical range, and as such, was absolutely unique among its peers. Julian Hirsch said in his test report in Stereo Review that the 4x had a uniform, wide-ranging frequency response that was exceptional by any standards and unheard of for a speaker in its size and price class. Consumer Reports in 1966 said that the 4x’s high frequency response was among the most accurate they had ever tested for any speaker, regardless of price. There was simply nothing like it from any other company, from the time the 4 was introduced in 1964, until, arguably, the Smaller Advent came out in 1970. Even then, the Smaller Advent was a somewhat larger, more expensive speaker, more in the category of the AR-6.

The 4x had an enclosure volume of barely more than .6 cu. ft., yet its 8” woofer produced solid, honest, low-distortion bass easily down to the mid-50Hz range. And the 4x was affordable, bringing the best-in-industry AR performance to hundreds of thousands of music and hi-fi aficionados, thereby helping to usher in the explosive period of mass-market growth of stereo/high fidelity equipment.

I have a strong fond memory of the 4x’s. My Dad had assembled a nice stereo system in the 1960-62 time frame consisting of the Allied Radio Knight Kits pre-amp, 35/35 tube power amp, and tuner, along with a pair of Goodmans 15” 3-way speakers installed in massive 36 x 24 x 16” HWD floor standing enclosures that he’d bought from Lafayette Radio. My Mom very patiently put up with these behemoths for many years, until finally, in 1969, she’d had enough. "I want these beasts out of my house!"

So, my Dad and I went to the local Lafayette store and listened to some Wharfedales, the Dyna A-25’s and the 4x’s. The Wharfedales were ok, but not in the same class; the Dyna’s were excellent, but just a little more than Dad could spend at the time. We came home with the 4x’s, and the salesman had given us the Walnut for the Unfinished price. Such a deal. (That was well before AR became widely discounted through the mail-order houses—and that’s another long story that I have covered at length in past posts.)

When we hooked them up and compared them to the Goodmans, it was a revelation. How could these small boxes, literally one-eighth the size of the Goodmans, sound so much better? Top to bottom, it was no contest. It was the reason that the 4x was such a smash success and also the reason it was such an important historical speaker.

Mr. O'Hanlon, your contributions on this extremely important speaker will be most valuable.

Steve F.

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Steve: *Diminutive* might have been a better word than *lowly.* My only contribution would be what I think is the correct x-o circuit. You and others have written about its history; Tom Tyson recently described the 8" driver in great detail. When restoring two, I discovered that its extraordinarily large sales volume was not reflected in the number of Forum posts (some) or material archived (none). My son is delighted to have great sounding speakers, one of which is six months older than he!

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  • 4 weeks later...


Any info posted on the 4x's would be nice to see. I have 3 pairs of 4x's, 2 pair running in the bedroom on my Fisher 800-C and the other pair running stacked with a pair of 2ax's (space consideration) in my wifes craft room off a Yamaha R-9 Receiver.

2 pair of 3A's are running in series off my ST-70 in the family room.

My wife and I really enjoy how good these "diminutive" speakers sound. Always interesting to find out more about any and all of them.


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